HSU TN1220HO +500W amp-How would you rank it? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 27 Old 02-27-2012, 10:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Just curious how the discontinued HSU TN1220 + 500W amp rank compare to HSU current line up? Thanks.
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post #2 of 27 Old 02-27-2012, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by tvuong View Post

Just curious how the discontinued HSU TN1220 + 500W amp rank compare to HSU current line up? Thanks.

I think it is comparable to the VTF-3MK4.

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post #3 of 27 Old 02-27-2012, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by tvuong View Post

Just curious how the discontinued HSU TN1220 + 500W amp rank compare to HSU current line up? Thanks.

First I agree with Curtis Chang about the VTF-3MK4. I would add that the closest comparison would be to the VTF-3 MK4 when used in Maximum Extension mode.

I have the professional review of the TN1220 HO done by Don Keele Jr., who designed speakers for JBL among other professional accomplishments (such as doing much of the speaker and subwoofer reviewing for Audio magazine). IIRC, Don has been working on the CEA standards.

I can't post a link to the review but I will post some of the most significant findings...

First you might be interested in the fact that TN in the model number stands for Tom Nousaine. HSU had a previous model that was much shorter (22 inches) but also much larger (in diameter), 23 inches. Some people felt that the HRSW12V looked too much like a barrel that could be tough to position in a real world living room. That shape also took up more floor space than some people desired. Despite the shape of the HRSW12V, its performance was excellent, topping the list of 11 subs tested by Tom Nousaine for Video Magazine in December 1995.

In response Dr. Hsu designed the TN1220HO as well as the TN 1225, which was a smaller, less expensive model in the new line-up.

Maybe I will add more later on but one thing has stood out in my memory for many years: the TN 1220 HO managed to reproduce a 12.5Hz signal at 101 db. The TN 1220 HO measured 3 db down at 15Hz. This was very impressive performance for a sub that sold for $450 at that time. Of course, the TN 1220 HO is a passive sub that needs outboard amplification. Still, a pair of TN 1220 HO's and one of the 500 watt amps was a formidable combination.
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post #4 of 27 Old 02-27-2012, 02:18 PM
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I would also like to point out, and spyboy can correct me if I am wrong...

The TN1220 was developed at a time when home theater was not a focal point, but for just great audio.

When I first heard the TN1220 about 8-9 years ago, its ability to dig deep was just the gravy on top of its great sound quality.

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post #5 of 27 Old 02-27-2012, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by cschang View Post

I would also like to point out, and spyboy can correct me if I am wrong...

The TN1220 was developed at a time when home theater was not a focal point, but for just great audio.

When I first heard the TN1220 about 8-9 years ago, its ability to dig deep was just the gravy on top of its great sound quality.

Thanks Curtis for pointing out that the TN 1220 HO wasn't specifically designed for HT, but as you said for general audio duties with great sound quality and measurable performance, all at a good price.

PS There are a group of TN 1220 enthusiasts who keep asking Dr. Hsu to bring back the TN 1220 HO, however, Dr. Hsu has that on the back burner. Meanwhile people snatch up TN 1220's which are not often available.
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post #6 of 27 Old 02-27-2012, 05:01 PM - Thread Starter
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I used to own the 1220 with 500A and sold it after we moved to another home without a dedicated theater room. I was out of Hometheater for 7Yrs and I am now back at it. I remember it was LOUD and DEEP. I still have a CD with deep deep low and loud bass that I have been using to test sub and it fails lots of sub I was auditioning, it did not fail the TN1220 but pushed it to its limit with air pumping BASS that one only can feel and not hear. I do not know the reason behind for HSU discontinuing one of the bad*ss sub for its price range. Would love to own it again.
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post #7 of 27 Old 02-28-2012, 02:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tvuong View Post

I used to own the 1220 with 500A and sold it after we moved to another home without a dedicated theater room. I was out of Hometheater for 7Yrs and I am now back at it. I remember it was LOUD and DEEP. I still have a CD with deep deep low and loud bass that I have been using to test sub and it fails lots of sub I was auditioning, it did not fail the TN1220 but pushed it to its limit with air pumping BASS that one only can feel and not hear. I do not know the reason behind for HSU discontinuing one of the bad*ss sub for its price range. Would love to own it again.

If you are not already a member of the HSU Forum you should join. Then you can post your feelings about Dr. Hsu bringing the TN 1220HO back. Right now it seems that Dr. Hsu has hit a home run with the VTF-15H. The other subs in the current line-up are also popular.

The TN 1220HO is more of a specialty item, but one with a rich history. I can't think of another sub that could do 101 db at 12.5 Hz that cost only $450 and weighs only 32 pounds. This is how Don Keele summarized his exhaustive test protocol and listening.

"The HSU Research TN 1220 HO is distinctly different from most other subwoofers. Its combination of slim tubular styling, light weight, small footprint, high output down to the lowest frequencies, and very modest price make the TN 1220 HO a winner. It does what a real subwoofer should do, providing large amounts of butt-kicking bass, all the way down to the 15Hz region. It will please both the classical pipe-organ enthusiast and the rock 'n' roller. Still not enough bass? Buy two - they are inexpensive enough!"
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spyboy..are you sure that was the price? I seem to remember the subwoofer and 500w amp combo was closer to $1500.

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post #9 of 27 Old 02-28-2012, 03:55 PM
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OP, contact forum member "pepar". He has 4 of the TN1220's. I've heard them and helped him measure them in his room, and can say they are fantastic subs.

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post #10 of 27 Old 02-28-2012, 06:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by cschang View Post

spyboy..are you sure that was the price? I seem to remember the subwoofer and 500w amp combo was closer to $1500.

If i remember correctly, they were around $950 for both ($450 sub, $500 for 500w amp).
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post #11 of 27 Old 02-28-2012, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by tvuong View Post

If i remember correctly, they were around $950 for both ($450 sub, $500 for 500w amp).

That's right....I was thinking two subs and one amp, which was also sold as a package.

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post #12 of 27 Old 02-28-2012, 09:40 PM
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How were those numbers measured? 2 meters or 1? Outside or inside?
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post #13 of 27 Old 02-29-2012, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by MKtheater View Post

How were those numbers measured? 2 meters or 1? Outside or inside?

This is how Don Keele describes the frequency response measurements.

"To assess the frequency response, I made ground plane measurements, placing my test microphone 2 meters from the port and the driver. The results are essentially identical to those from standard 1-meter, anechoic measurement."

Don measured and published peak output numbers both with and without room gain.

"With room gain, the maximum peak acoustic output starts with a very high 101 db at a very low 12.5Hz, passes through 110 db at 16Hz, then rises rapidly to a local peak of 114db at 20Hz. After a slight dip to 113db at 25Hz, the output rises to 117.5 db at 50Hz, heading up (after another slight dip) to 120 db at 95Hz before falling slightly to 118 db at 200Hz."

It should also be noted that Don used his Crown Macro Reference amp for all testing and listening along with the HSU Electronic Crossover. The 60 pound Macro Reference is capable of 10,000 watt instantaneous peaks and that in the maximum peak output measurements, Don reports that the HSU TN 1220 HO was receiving over 1,000 watts at some frequencies. 1,350 watts at 20 Hz, for example. Of particular note is that at frequencies above 75 Hz, the Macro Reference was delivering extremely high wattage. Specifically, the Macro Reference delivered 6,500 watts to the HSU at 200Hz.

Tom Nousaine used a Macro Reference for his IB system which generated 129 db at some frequencies. That was back in 1999.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spyboy View Post

This is how Don Keele describes the frequency response measurements.

"To assess the frequency response, I made ground plane measurements, placing my test microphone 2 meters from the port and the driver. The results are essentially identical to those from standard 1-meter, anechoic measurement."

Don measured and published peak output numbers both with and without room gain.

"With room gain, the maximum peak acoustic output starts with a very high 101 db at a very low 12.5Hz, passes through 110 db at 16Hz, then rises rapidly to a local peak of 114db at 20Hz. After a slight dip to 113db at 25Hz, the output rises to 117.5 db at 50Hz, heading up (after another slight dip) to 120 db at 95Hz before falling slightly to 118 db at 200Hz."

It should also be noted that Don used his Crown Macro Reference amp for all testing and listening along with the HSU Electronic Crossover. The 60 pound Macro Reference is capable of 10,000 watt instantaneous peaks and that in the maximum peak output measurements, Don reports that the HSU TN 1220 HO was receiving over 1,000 watts at some frequencies. 1,350 watts at 20 Hz, for example. Of particular note is that at frequencies above 75 Hz, the Macro Reference was delivering extremely high wattage. Specifically, the Macro Reference delivered 6,500 watts to the HSU at 200Hz.

Tom Nousaine used a Macro Reference for his IB system which generated 129 db at some frequencies. That was back in 1999.

Do you know what the ground plane numbers are at 2 meters? The indoor 12.5 hz does not help much since all rooms are different. My twin DTS-10's hit really high numbers at my LP at 12.5hz but outside at 2 meters ground plane they hit 102.1 dBs.
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post #15 of 27 Old 02-29-2012, 02:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MKtheater View Post

Do you know what the ground plane numbers are at 2 meters? The indoor 12.5 hz does not help much since all rooms are different. My twin DTS-10's hit really high numbers at my LP at 12.5hz but outside at 2 meters ground plane they hit 102.1 dBs.

Don didn't spell out the numbers without room gain, like he did for the numbers with room gain. Instead, he presented a chart showing output both with and without room gain.

Without room gain a single 1220 measured 91 db at 12.5Hz. Without room gain at 20Hz a single 1220 measured 98 db.

Let's not forget that this sub cost $450 and weighs 32 pounds. The DTS-10 cost ~$1,100 as a kit which is no longer available. An assembled DTS-10 is what? ~$3,000 and is about 5-7 times larger and more than 8 times heavier. Also, remember the 1220 was introduced in 1998...
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spyboy View Post

Don didn't spell out the numbers without room gain, like he did for the numbers with room gain. Instead, he presented a chart showing output both with and without room gain.

Without room gain a single 1220 measured 91 db at 12.5Hz. Without room gain at 20Hz a single 1220 measured 98 db.

Let's not forget that this sub cost $450 and weighs 32 pounds. The DTS-10 cost ~$1,100 as a kit which is no longer available. An assembled DTS-10 is what? ~$3,000 and is about 5-7 times larger and more than 8 times heavier. Also, remember the 1220 was introduced in 1998...

Was there even a lot of low frequency content out there in the late 90's early 2000's? I honestly don't know if DVD tracks were mastered to dip into the 20's and below. I suspect not as much as we have today with Blu-Ray?
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If I recall correctly, the TN1220, along with the associated amps and EQ, were discontinued because the cost to build them was getting too high. I believe, at the time, everything, including the amps and driver, were being made in the US(California). I also remember something about the build quality going downhill a bit as well.

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post #18 of 27 Old 02-29-2012, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by ack_bk View Post

Was there even a lot of low frequency content out there in the late 90's early 2000's? I honestly don't know if DVD tracks were mastered to dip into the 20's and below. I suspect not as much as we have today with Blu-Ray?

Well...there was organ music.

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post #19 of 27 Old 02-29-2012, 02:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spyboy View Post

Don didn't spell out the numbers without room gain, like he did for the numbers with room gain. Instead, he presented a chart showing output both with and without room gain.

Without room gain a single 1220 measured 91 db at 12.5Hz. Without room gain at 20Hz a single 1220 measured 98 db.

Let's not forget that this sub cost $450 and weighs 32 pounds. The DTS-10 cost ~$1,100 as a kit which is no longer available. An assembled DTS-10 is what? ~$3,000 and is about 5-7 times larger and more than 8 times heavier. Also, remember the 1220 was introduced in 1998...

Well, it would take about 4 1220's to equal a DTS-10 so the $1100 kit price was a bargain and one DTS-10 takes up less space than 4 1220's. I am all about bang for buck and If I can get more out of more lesser subs than one big one than I will do it. Still, I love cylinder subs and would have love to try this 1220 just for the experience. The SVS cylinder was my first real subwoofer.
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post #20 of 27 Old 02-29-2012, 03:03 PM
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DTS-10 takes up less space than 4 1220's.

Are you sure? The 1220 was only 12" in diameter.

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post #21 of 27 Old 02-29-2012, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by cschang View Post

Are you sure? The 1220 was only 12" in diameter.

Not sure 100% but the point is do they compete today? I would buy them for the right price. Also the DTS-10 is one of the best tested subs so keep that in mind. I would buy them because I like cylinders and I would like to try a HSU sub and this one digs deeper than their newer offerings! Me likey!
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post #22 of 27 Old 02-29-2012, 04:20 PM
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Not sure 100% but the point is do they compete today? I would buy them for the right price. Also the DTS-10 is one of the best tested subs so keep that in mind. I would buy them because I like cylinders and I would like to try a HSU sub and this one digs deeper than their newer offerings! Me likey!

Well, remember, the TN1220 was developed long before HT became popular. Its design goals are much different than the DTS-10. I would bet they sound very different.

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post #23 of 27 Old 02-29-2012, 04:28 PM
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Well, remember, the TN1220 was developed long before HT became popular. Its design goals are much different than the DTS-10. I would bet they sound very different.

I believe bass is bass and on e you get linear output with little distortion and no compression they all sound great. I wish HSU would release another sub like this again.
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post #24 of 27 Old 02-29-2012, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by MKtheater View Post

I believe bass is bass and on e you get linear output with little distortion and no compression they all sound great. I wish HSU would release another sub like this again.

I actually think that is too simplistic of a view, and we are seeing that with these shootouts, different subs all with low distortion, all sound great, but different...but that is another discussion.

You are not the only one that would like see Hsu put this type of sub out there again.

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post #25 of 27 Old 02-29-2012, 04:55 PM
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Hsu has mentioned in the past the reason they discontinued their cylinder subs is because people basically want box subwoofers. The cylinders weren't selling nearly as well. I bet you SVS could confirm this- how many PB12s do they sell for every PC12s they sell? They probably wouldn't release those numbers, but I'm sure the box subs outsell the cylinders by a large margin.
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post #26 of 27 Old 03-01-2012, 10:37 AM
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So what happened, did you buy the sub?
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post #27 of 27 Old 03-01-2012, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

Hsu has mentioned in the past the reason they discontinued their cylinder subs is because people basically want box subwoofers. The cylinders weren't selling nearly as well. I bet you SVS could confirm this- how many PB12s do they sell for every PC12s they sell? They probably wouldn't release those numbers, but I'm sure the box subs outsell the cylinders by a large margin.

Cylinder subs are an acquired taste. The TN1220HO is 52 inches tall. After SVS brought out large number of cylinder subs HSU had a pretty hard time competing. Just a few years ago SVS had significant number of different cylinders. CS series (passive). PC series including 25-31, 20-39, 16-46 in both regular and Plus series, then came the PC Ultra. Last year SVS introduced the Legato.

Still, box subs are more popular than cylinders. With the success of the HSU VTF-15H a reincarnation of the TN1220HO is pretty far down the road...
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